This is a comment by Daniel B on the post “When Women Fear Men“.
“Sarahj, you’ve got the issue that abuse is unfairly defined differently depending on gender (a man who hits a woman is scum, but if a woman hits a man than he deserved it and plus he’s a wussy if he gets hurt by a woman anway; or a 20 year old man sleeping with a 15 year old girl is child rape but a 30 year old woman sleeping with a 15 year old boy just means she did him an awesome favor).
“But the real problem is that you haven’t thought through the side-effects of your ideals. There are side effects to behaving like men are automatically untrustworthy around kids but women are automatically trustworthy. It subconsciously tells men that working with kids is a femine thing and not a masculine thing. And yet you complain about how men don’t do enough for kids and don’t care enough about families—but you are in favor of a society that ingrains ‘I am a man, therefore caring for kids is not for me’ in the male mind so thoroughly that most men don’t even realize that it’s there.
“It is true that men physically abusing women happens more than the reverse, but it’s misleading for at least two reasons: for one thing, female abuse of a male is reported at a much lower rate, because any man who can get physically hurt by a woman is considered un-manly or pre-assumed to have done something to her to deserve it. And a man’s claim to abuse will usually be automatically disbelieve on the grounds that he should have been stronger than her and thus could have prevented it. And finally, men who suffer abuse are actually statistically more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries than are women who suffer abuse—because women are much more likely to use the aid of an instrument (baseball bat, knife, etc).
“Take a look at Tiger Woods. I’m not defending the guy’s scumbag actions, but let’s look at the situation vs the hypothetical converse. He cheats on his wife, she apparently hits him in the face with a golf club. And I can understand her anger and I can see why she’d want to hit him in the face. But the interesting thing is the ‘He cheated on her, that b*tch had it coming to him!’ mindset that was overwhelmingly present. Let’s say that Ellie had cheated on Tiger and that he had hit her in the face. Yes, there would still be some idiots who said ‘That b*tch had it coming to her!’, but the majority cry would be to throw him in jail for assault. If the victim is a man, and he calls the police, there’s a decent chance the police are going to come and arrest him just because he’s the male.
“It is interesting how even our postmodern society can’t get past the idea that enjoyment of sexuality is supposed to be a ‘guy thing’ … that attitude has done a TON of harm to both men and women.
“Divorce laws are blatantly biased to punish men and reward women. I had a friend who married the wrong person. All his friends knew he was making a mistake marrying her because she was manipulative nearly to the point of psychoticness and none of his friends, male or female, could stand to be around her. One day they had an argument and he decided to go on a drive for a bit to cool down. When he came back a few hours later, his kids were gone. She took them away to Indiana (from Texas) and decided to live with her family up there. A man doing this would probably get booked for kidnapping.
“Now, let me pause for a second to say I’m not trying to imply that most women, or even any women for that matter, are this bad. Here’s the point: THE LAW TAKES HER SIDE. His kids are gone and he can’t even see them until the divorce/custody battle gets finalized—in the meantime, they automatically stay with her 100% of the time. And all the hearings are held with his wife in Indiana. He’s ruined himself financially and emotionally just trying to be able to see the kids his wife ran away with. And women wonder why men are afraid of committment.
“My closest friends’ parents divorced when he was 7. He lived with his mom after that. When he was 9, he decided of his own accord that he wanted to live with his dad. As you can hopefully imagine, it takes a ton of guts for a 9 year old to come out and make his wishes known like this. And as you can imagine, his mom wasn’t very happy about that (and I don’t blame her for being hurt by it). But here’s what happened: things went back to court, and the judge decided with no justification whatsoever that my friend must have been emotionally manipulated by his father—apparently because kids are naturally supposed to want to be their moms more – and was ordered to take therapy sessions for several months to ‘fix’ his problem.
“See, our society teaches men that there is something inherantly better about mother-child relationships than father-child relationships … and then we wonder why so many father-child relationships are disfunctional or nonexistent when the answer is staring us in the face! Men and women are both responsible for biased divorce and custody laws. Men and women are both responsible for the idea that feelings are unmanly.
“I don’t care if I’m with a woman who can beat me at Call of Duty or plays basketball better than I do. I’m very turned off by needy and dependent women (even though there is some part of me that subconsciously likes that because I would feel more secure with a woman who needed me because she’d be less likely to leave me]. I like being with someone who has strong opinions and trusts me enough to vocalize them even if they aren’t the same as mine. One of my ‘must-have’ qualities in a partner is someone who can, as you say, call me on my shit. That’s a key to my close male friendships too—I can’t improve if my friends are pansies who won’t give me any constructive correction.
“And here’s the funny thing—I’m not the odd guy out. The stuff I said is true of the vast majority of my male friends. But here’s the thing—I’m the odd guy out because I’m able to admit it. I was very lucky to be raised in an environment where I felt ok talking about feelings, being introspective or sensitive, and admitting weakness—most men are raised to think those things are bad because they bring emasculation or deflate one’s ego or whatnot. So, when they get ‘called out on their shit’, even though they may desire an equal who can do this, a lifetime of ‘WEAKNESS IS UNMANLY’ takes over and all they can hear is ‘YOU AREN’T A REAL MAN’.
“Women seem to only want men who are obsessed with them. Women seem to want men who ditch all their other hobbies and friends to spend time with her all the time. Most of the male friends I have who treat women this way got in relationships all the time and the majority of them are married or engaged. The male friends I know who aren’t this way with women (most of whom would make way better husbands than the previous group, too)—one is engaged, none of the rest are even in a dating relationship. But the difference between you and me that when I meet a woman, I don’t instantly assume these things are true about her before I even know her. But you apparently do make these pre-judgments about men, and seem proud of it (because it means that you as a women are superior to those nasty brustish morons). And the word we have for this is ‘prejudice’.
“Women have a much easier time being defined as good. When a man has shallow physical reasons for being interested in a woman (e.g. he likes her breasts), it’s evidence that men are a bunch of selfish primal idiots. When a woman has shallow physical reasons for liking a man (e.g. he’s tall and rugged), it’s because she’s a sweet pure creature who has a meaningful need for security. And for what it’s worth, among men who desire meaningful relationships and not just hookups, nobody is going to refuse to consider any woman who happens to have small boobs; but among women who desire meaningful relationships, it’s very common to refuse to consider any man who happens to be shorter than she is.”
Photo credit: Flickr / ItzaFineDay